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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In this original proceeding, the question is whether Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., as a non-signatory to a contract containing an arbitration clause, must arbitrate its claims against Unidynamics Inc. and MacGregor (FIN) Oy (MacGregor), the signatories to the contract. The trial court denied MacGregor’s motion, which sought to compel KBR to pursue its claims in an ongoing arbitration between MacGregor and Unidynamics. The court of appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion and conditionally granted mandamus relief, ordering the trial court to vacate its order denying MacGregor’s motion and “issue an order compelling KBR to arbitrate all claims.” Approximately two months after KBR filed its petition here, the arbitration between MacGregor and Unidynamics concluded. As a result, the relief MacGregor requested in the lower courts � that KBR be compelled “to pursue its claims in the arbitration between MacGregor (FIN) and Unidynamics” � is no longer available. The case is not moot, however, because the parties continue to dispute whether KBR should be compelled to “arbitrate all claims” pursuant to the court of appeals’ order. HOLDING:Conditionally granted. The parties do not dispute the court of appeals’ holding that the arbitration provision at issue is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act. Under “direct benefits estoppel,” a non-signatory plaintiff seeking the benefits of a contract is estopped from simultaneously attempting to avoid the contract’s burdens, such as the obligation to arbitrate disputes. Consistent with the federal doctrine of “direct benefits estoppel,” this court has held that a non-signatory plaintiff may be compelled to arbitrate if its claims are based on a contract containing an agreement to arbitrate. The issue here is whether KBR sought to enforce terms of a fabrication subcontract by 1. bringing a quantum meruit claim against MacGregor, or 2. seeking a declaration that it possessed valid liens. The court concludes that, under direct benefits estoppel, although a non-signatory’s claim may relate to a contract containing an arbitration provision, that relationship does not, in itself, bind the non-signatory to the arbitration provision. Instead, a non-signatory should be compelled to arbitrate a claim only if it seeks, through the claim, to derive a direct benefit from the contract containing the arbitration provision. In its quantum meruit claim against MacGregor, KBR seeks payment for services rendered. KBR provided services pursuant to its contract with Unidynamics. KBR’s asserted right to payment therefore stems directly from the KBR-Unidynamics contract, not the fabrication subcontract. The fabrication subcontract includes no provision for paying KBR. KBR is effectively precluded from asserting rights under that contract, which expressly provides that “Approved use of any subcontractor creates no contractual relationship between the subcontractor and [MacGregor].” The court concludes that the court of appeals abused its discretion to the extent it compelled KBR to arbitrate its quantum meruit claim against MacGregor. MacGregor’s sole argument for compelling arbitration of KBR’s lien-validity claims is that the claims require a determination of ownership, and thus, they are based on the Title Agreement within the fabrication subcontract. Ownership was a central issue before and during the arbitration. When the arbitration award resolved the ownership dispute, it also eliminated the only rationale that MacGregor has asserted thus far for arbitrating the liens’ validity. To the extent a lien dispute still remains, the trial court is in the best position to determine whether it must be arbitrated. OPINION:Jefferson, C.J., delivered the court’s opinion. Johnson, J., did not participate in the decision.

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